Wednesday, December 2, 2020

CSX to Acquire Pan Am Railways in New England

SOURCE: 12:19 pm ET December 1, 2020 (Globe Newswire)

CSX Corp. (NASDAQ: CSX) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire New England's Pan Am Railways, Inc. ("Pan Am"), whose rail carrier subsidiaries comprise North America's largest regional railroad.

Headquartered in North Billerica, Massachusetts, Pan Am owns and operates a highly integrated, nearly 1,200-mile rail network and has a partial interest in the more than 600-mile Pan Am Southern system. Pan Am's network across New England has access to multiple ports and large-scale commodity producers. The transaction will expand CSX's reach in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts while adding Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to its existing 23-state network.

The transaction will provide significant benefits to shippers and local communities as CSX integrates Pan Am into its best-in-class network. CSX made nearly $1.5 billion in infrastructure capital expenditures in its network in 2019, supporting economic growth and ensuring the safety and efficiency of the supply chain.

James M. Foote, president and chief executive officer of CSX, said: "In Pan Am, CSX gains a strong regional rail network in one of the most densely populated markets in the U.S., creating new efficiencies and market opportunities for customers as we continue to grow. We intend to bring CSX's customer-centric focus and industry-leading operating model to shippers and industries served by Pan Am. We look forward to integrating Pan Am into CSX, with substantial benefits to the rail-served industries of the Northeast, and to working in partnership with connecting railroads to provide exceptional supply chain solutions to New England and beyond."

David A. Fink, president of Pan Am Railways, said: "Pan Am is pleased to reach this agreement with CSX, a North American leader in rail-based freight transportation. This is great news for New England shippers and the national freight network overall."

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to regulatory review and approval by the Surface Transportation Board.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is acting as financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is acting as legal advisor to CSX in connection with the transaction.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Rail Photography Can't Always Be Perfect... a Lesson For Flat-Landers & Super Picky Rail-Photo Websites

Rail Photography Can't Always Be Perfect... a Lesson For Flat-Landers & Super Picky Rail-Photo Websites
by Jonelle DeFelice

Some railfan photo sites are so picky, they will reject an image submission just because of a blade of grass in the "wrong" place. Or perhaps there's a tiny shadow on a locomotive's windshield.  Well, they seem to think all railfans live in a perfect world of straight rails, great lighting, lots of trains, and absolutely NOTHING to get in the way of a perfect photo.

This photo from Shirley MA during late September is to show what we in Massachusetts have to put up with: Odd sun angles & shadows, curvy tracks, lots of trees, power lines & poles, signs, auto traffic, you name it. And this is a relatively clean commuter track (for now). Get past Fitchburg and things change... they become even harder.  

"Perfect" photos are a lot harder to get in this neck of the woods than railfans in "the flat lands" can ever understand...

Oh, and the above photo is the best I could get as the train rounded the curve.  Point made?

Here is an uncropped shot from Westford Station (MA) on a sunny September day.  Despite the fact this ROW is just about IN the parking lot of a popular walking trail, most eastbound freights will look like this.  Try to grab an eastbound and you need to stand someplace "photogenic" but also SAFE.  Recent trackwork means lineside weeds are gone... for THIS season...

Another uncropped shot from the same location.  This image from a cloudy Autumn day would probably still get rejected because of the sky.  You may not know this, but skies are not always clear blue.  That pile of ties and rail?  Well, that isn't "perfect".  And those signals aren't lit... why not?

This is a westbound work train at  the same location 3/2020.  Better lighting... sorta of.  You can see it was a nice sunny day.  But there are parked cars, moving cars, dead weeds, and yes, odd lighting.  Nothing you can do about it either, unless you stand closer to the road crossing, then you have the gates to contend with and also you need to be safely away from the train itself.  

ZOOMS are your friend.  But I couldn't get nice, well lit shots of the consist.  Had I stood on the other side of the track, which is closer to the rails, I probably would have had shadows to contend with there as well and the angle would have been bad.  I also would have received nasty looks from the crew for being too close to the train.

Here is that crossing during August of 2018.  Yet again... POINT MADE.

Here is a rather rare shot of an MBTA welded rail train at Belmont MA.  No place to stand other than the station platforms.  From this side, you have good light but the angle is sharp.  Oh, and those ties, they may interest some but to make it onto some rail-photo sites you better just delete this one... 

Uncropped, unedited photo of the same train, same location, but to get the train into the shot, I needed to cross the track.  Now lighting stinks.

This Belmont photo is SUPER rare... Pan Am Railways detour freight EDNM 4/3/10.  Also uncropped, we have GREAT lighting on the locomotives BUT only for a split second... soon the shadows will ruin things and the train will be too close to me to get a nice broadside photo.  I couldn't stand further down the platform because the track has a tight curve.

In closing, here is a rather NICE photo... nice lighting, interesting subject... OH BUT WHAT are those things blocking the view at center-left??  Nature??

Welcome to freight railroading in Eastern Massachusetts...

Monday, October 5, 2020

MBTA Forecasts New Orange, Red Line Fleets Will Be Delayed at Least 1 Year


The full transformation of the Red and Orange Line fleets will be delayed by at least a year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and pre-existing manufacturing issues, MBTA officials announced Monday.

Under its contract with Chinese manufacturer CRRC, the MBTA expected to have a fleet of new Orange Line cars delivered by January 2022 and a fleet of new Red Line cars by September 2023. 

The Orange Line delivery is now projected to be 15 months late and arrive in April 2023, while the Red Line set is running a year late and is expected to be done in September 2024, according to MBTA Deputy General Manager Jeff Gonneville. 

With those delays, the T also pushed back its target for running trains more frequently with shorter headways to summer 2023 for the Orange Line and winter 2024 for the Red Line. 

Gonneville said the T's contract with CRRC includes language allowing the agency to seek damages for delays and that officials intend to explore its possible application.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Empty Bow NH Coal Train at West Chelmsford MA 3/17/20

Empty Bow (NH) coal train passes through West Chelmsford MA on a dreary St. Patrick's Day (3/17/20). Power was MEC/Pan Am 7620/7535/7542. It was strange seeing CSX coal cars instead of NS ones!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

West End Hoosac Tunnel Liner Collapse

There has been a failure of the liner on the west end of Hoosac Tunnel, causing debris to partly cover the track.

Norfolk Southern has issued the following press release:

Feb 12, 2020

Norfolk Southern’s partner, Pan Am Railways, has reported a partial wall collapse in the Hoosac Tunnel which affects all trains operating between Mechanicsville, New York, and Ayer, Massachusetts.  Pan Am Railway’s engineering department is evaluating the situation and Norfolk Southern will provide updates as they are available.  Customers with traffic in the affected area should expect delays of at least 48 hours.

Videos are starting to be posted of the collapse